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  1. #1
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    Default The witching hour

    I'm sure most of you know what it's like to be wide awake at 2-3 in the morning thinking about EVERY possible problem...

    That was me early this morning. Usually I sleep like a log, but suddenly found myself awake at 3am with the weight of the world on my shoulders. Kept thinking about the negatives in my relationship, getting anxious about my finances, my aging parents, my unborn child...I was begging for sunlight to appear as I knew it wouldn't seem so bad during the day.

    Just a rant I guess. Anyone know how to snap out of this when it happens? It sure does get me down

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    I think everyone does go through this at some point. I suffer from bouts of insomnia too. There are a couple of things that have helped me break the cycle.
    Learning to meditate is one. While I practice meditation during the day, once you've learned how to do it, if you wake during the night you're already practiced in focusing on your breathing and the sensations (rather than emotions) in your body. And if you do that you'll find yourself calm and you'll fall back to sleep more readily.

    If you're anything like me, you lie awake at night generally thinking about the worst-case scenario, which in all likelihood will never happen. If you know what those problems are then right them down. And then counteract each and every one of them by considering them realistically and reframing them into a neutral or positive statement that's believable to you. There are all kinds of cognitive distortions that we apply to our thoughts without even realising we're doing it. Once you can recognise them and break them down things don't seem so bad any more.

    (Part of CBT, have a read of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_distortion)

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    I just put old episodes of my favourite tv shows on the laptop, turn the screen off and focus on listening to the audio. Which requires just enough attention that I stop thinking and can relax, but not so much attention that I can't sleep.

    But Cat74's advice is a much better long term solution!

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    I was right there with you this morning, I get anxious and don't calm down until the day gets started.

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    Great ideas

    I meditate sporadically so I'm not fluent at switching off yet...you have reminded me to practise more!

    So weird that this particular time of night affects people similarly at one time or another.

    I'm at work, so will check out your link later @Cat74. Thanks
    And you are right - it's always worst case scenario! :O

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    Same as @deku - TV on with something I'm super familiar with so I am distracted enough but so I don't have to pay attention.

    Counting backwards from 100 helps too for some reason.

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    I think you need to count backwards from 120 :-) picturing a pure white rectangle helps too though

    I can't sleep unless I'm listening to old Hamish and Andy podcasts.

    When I had a TV in my room I would go to sleep to Friends videos.

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    Default The witching hour

    Quote Originally Posted by SeymourTheBear View Post
    Same as @deku - TV on with something I'm super familiar with so I am distracted enough but so I don't have to pay attention.

    Counting backwards from 100 helps too for some reason.
    If the counting doesn't work, it also helps if I picture my breathing.
    Hard to explain, but I kind of imagine it going up, pausing, then down again.
    Gives your brain something to focus on.

    If you're worried about something in particular, or a bunch of things and your minds all over the place, write it down.
    Just a bullet point list. Give these worst case scenarios a likelihood out of ten of happening and if you're still worried, think of a plan if they do.

    It's the unknown that worried us I think.

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    I use a white noise app on my phone. There is one called alarm clock sleep sounds which is the bees knees- it makes these sounds similar to your brain waves for relaxation/deep sleep/dreamy sleep etc and I set it on a 40 minute program....
    NEVER once have I still been awake by the end no matter how anxious or awake I feel at the start.

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    Thanks for the suggestions ladies, some excellent ones there.

    This only happens to me about twice a year, but it does disturb me when it happens. I will keep these solutions in mind.

    (PS. I think the mind goes into some sort of obsession mode at these times, because this morning I tried distracting myself with a game app on my phone. When I'd had enough and put my phone down, the game was all I could visualise, but in an unpleasant, compulsive way. I think I may need to totally wake up and reset my brain before going back to sleep next time!)


 

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